Education, in particular quality, early childhood education, has been a central part of AJEEC’s activities since the organization’s establishment. This is based on the belief that equal opportunity and education for women, children, adolescents, and young people produces a more equitable society, in which every citizen can fully realize their potential.
One of the first early childhood programs launched at AJEEC was the “Parents as Partners” program, which has been running since 2004. The program is based on a unique and innovative model in Arab-Bedouin society in the Negev, and in Israel in general, which includes the establishment of educational frameworks for children from birth to age three, integrating parents into the educational process, based on a community-centered approach and a collaborative learning process.
Over nearly two decades, 21 home nurseries have been opened under the name “Beit Ha’Em ve’Hayeled” (Home for the mother and the child) in the recognized and unrecognized villages in the Negev. More than 300 children have been educated each year, under the responsibility of about 40 certified caregivers.
The extensive experience gained by AJEEC in the field of early childhood over two decades has enabled broader aspects of early childhood care in Bedouin-Arab society in the Negev to develop. In line with AJEEC’s holistic approach, the organization focuses on synchronization between the field of early childhood and the field of health and employment promotion, and serves as an anchor organization in charge of building a multi-sectoral network of partnerships.
The organization trains and provides guidance to health and education professionals from the Bedouin community to address the unique healthcare needs of Bedouin society and reduce gaps in these areas. Our approach places an emphasis on parents and children, developing awareness of involved parenting, normal development, and early childhood education.